What are your options for beautiful skin this autumn?

Despite even the most rigorous applications of Sisley over your summer holiday many of us are shocked to see sun damage once our tan has faded

The sun’s harsh UV rays break down collagen and pigmentation shows up in the unforgiving autumnal light. Next come the autumn winds that can strip the skin’s surface, making it aggravated and dry.

Now is the time to look to a professional for advice before the cold winter weather and the drying central heating do further damage to you skin. It is worth spending more on your skin than your clothes – after all, you wear your skin every day. Fresh, rejuvenated skin can turn heads more than the latest little black dress. If you start your new care routine in the autumn, you will see the results by the start of the Christmas social season.

Between now and Christmas there are a lot of non-invasive options available that you can make part of your skin routine.

The who’s who of the celebrity world are happy to leave the fate of their complexions to the trusted hands of the world’s leading dermatologists – it is no secret that they incorporate the best professional skin treatments into their routine.

To find out exactly what your skin needs you really need professional help, someone who can fully assess your skin. There is no shortcut to dewy, flawless skin – you need a qualified professional to take charge.

To give you an idea of what luxury skin treatments will help you, here are some of the very best which have earned cult followings:

Sun damage
Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL) uses a process called photo rejuvenation that allows light waves to target irregular discolouration in the skin such as melanin in sun spots and redness caused by broken capillaries. The light converts to heat and triggers an anti-inflammatory response in the tissues stimulating collagen and elastin production.

IPL will reduce any discolouration and make your skin tone more even. IPL can be used on any isolated body areas such as the full face, the hands or décolletage. You need a few treatments to see the best results.

The beauty of this treatment is that there is no downtime so you can have this treatment on a lunch break or before meeting friends for lunch – and noone will know.

Clogged pores
After a summer of socialising, acne sufferers will be seeing the consequences. Initially some sunbathing might help to clear your acne, but after a few weeks your skin will start producing even more oil to counteract the drying nature of the sun and your makeup and sun cream will start to clog your pores.

Not only this, but the summer Negronis you have been sipping won’t have helped. Alcohol can raise your hormone levels which in turn, stimulate your oil glands – also leading to clogged pores.

The TheraClear system comes to the rescue – sucking out all the dirt from your pores like a vacuum cleaner and clearing out the congestion from deep beneath your skin.

Regular mild peels and hydra-dermabrasion will also decongest your skin, making it smoother and fresher. These treatments will also stimulate the skin’s collagen, reducing very fine summer dehydration lines.

Enzyme peels are mild peels that will rarely leave your skin red and are suitable for most skin types. They often contain papaya or pumpkin enzymes.

Alpha and beta-hydroxy acid peels are mild to medium and work that little bit deeper, using enzymes from plants, trees, fruits and nuts. These cause the glue in the skin to break away leaving the dead skin flakes to fall away. These peels can leave your skin dry and a little red for a few days after, so not a peel to do the morning before a dinner party.

Strong peels like phenol or TCA need someone experienced to do them and are not advised for those with dark skin. The post-peel recovery period is longer for these type of facial peel.

Hydra-dermabrasion has a huge following and is the treatment of the moment that is continuing to elevate its profile. Hydra-dermabrasion pushes a jet of cleansing serum into your pores through a vacuum vortx tip that is slightly rough. Rather than blasting the skin with grit as per the usual dermabrasion, this gentler approach blasts out the pores while also caring for them. Not only is this treatment taking the buildup of summer dirt out, but it is simultaneously putting in treatments into your pores that plump, brighten and protect. This not only exfoliates away dead skin, but also hydrates at the same time.

If that’s not all, hydra-dermabrasion also teams up well with other treatments – like laser, light and injectables. So if you are a Botox fan and you have a busy diary, you can treat yourself to this on the same day. In fact, it even speeds up the shedding process after the use of resurfacing devices.

It is vital that with any facial exfoliation that you don’t over-do it as otherwise you can cause problems with your skin’s natural barriers and make skin more sensitive.

The non-surgical facelift
With IPL the king of an even skin tone and hydra-dermabrasion the queen of skin smoothers, radio frequency facials are the best when it comes to on-trend contour refining.

With Jennifer Aniston crediting radio frequency facials from Thermage to keep her face ‘lifted’, radio frequency skin tightening has seen a huge surge in popularity for those seeking a non-surgical facelift.

The treatment introduces radio frequency energy to the skin, contracting the skin’s collagen and tightening.

During a treatment your skin is heated to 38-40 degrees with radiofrequency, which feels comfortable – much like a hot stone face massage

You will need 3 or more treatments to see the results and these will need to be repeated several times a year.

You can put your contouring kit back in the makeup bag – this a treatment that will have your friends bemused as to why your skin looks so good with down time blocked out on your social diary.